An Incurable Kip?


O’Connell Street, Dublin 1

“Walked through Dublin city centre earlier this evening. I was having a few medical tests done earlier in the day. Sadly the town I’ve known and loved all my life has been reduced these past few years to a horrible, intimidating drug-infested kip of a place.

And it keeps getting worse. There’s still a handful of great pubs where you can enjoy a pint (albeit in some places at exhorbitant prices – €5.90 for a pint of stout ffs in one place we called into! So I don’t go to too many of them lately.)

But the city is now becoming more sinister and more nasty than I’ve ever known it to be in the past. Sadly this city I once loved is now controlled by gangs. It wasn’t how I knew it to be years ago, as I walked back to where we were staying tonight with some food from a local takeaway.

Even a young garda asked me if I knew exactly where I was going. I agreed with him when he described the city centre as an incurable kip. He looked no more than twenty. When I was twenty, this city was a great place. Sadly that’s not the case anymore. But we still had a great evening and thankfully the weather was beautiful.”

Broadcaster Gareth O’Callaghan, yesterday.

Spaghetti Hoop writes:

Is Gareth’s mournful outpouring simply a reaction to a bad night in the city and a bit Brennan’s Bread with its, ‘ah it’s not like the good ole days’, or has our capital city declined in cultural value, safety and general conviviality because of increased crime and addicts?

 A close relative of mine, more Dub than I, can’t wait to get out of the place due to the ubiquity of addicts where he works in Dublin 1.

I know several people agree with him, but triple that who don’t and who left their Dublin roots for the commuter belt semi-ds in Meath and Kildare during the housing boom, craving to come back now that the kids are teens and they have more social time.

Tourism Ireland reports that 11.2 million overseas visitors came to Ireland in 2018, an increase of 6% from 2017 and many of them spent at least two days in Dublin. Which means we are top providers of a cultural experience and a pleasing gateway to the rest that the country has to offer.

The swarms of hen and stag parties that visit Temple Bar during the spring and summer season contributes to a healthy tourism industry and they don’t cause any grief except push the pint price up in those contained zones – which Dubs nimbly avoid and proceed to their prized spots.

Most Dubliners wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else in the country, even for the four bedrooms, horse stables, chicken coop and hectare of landscaped garden they could gain in exchange for their city crib.

There’s a buzz in town, and you get used to its traffic and rough neck and enjoy its village-like eccentricity.

Granted I’m a twice returned emigrant so without lyrical-waxing about it I still think the city rocks from a global perspective because of its small size, recreational offerings and touch of madness.The diversity of pursuits at the weekend for beach, city culture and mountain walks would want you wish for more weekends.

So I am curious; is Gareth right about Dublin being a kip or just doesn’t get the joys of city life? And if you do think it’s a kip, to paraphrase Junker to Farage in the EU Parliament in 2016, “Why are you here?”.


Sponsored Link

150 thoughts on “An Incurable Kip?

  1. b

    it’s definitely a bit of misty eyed nostalgia, he’s getting old, the guards looking young just reinforces that

    that’s not to say Dublin can’t be a kip at times but its still a great city to go out in

    1. theo kretschmar schuldorff

      Wouldn’t know if the guards looked young or old.
      There is almost no chance of encountering one on the streets of the capital.
      Judge Charleton said as much in his conclusions last year: Every guard needs to spend a portion on their day on the beat.
      Gareth is noticing the result – and living in (and loving) the city centre, I would have to agree.

  2. Rob_G

    Dublin’s nice.

    Way, way more junkies than I have ever seen in any other city, though. They need to move the methadone clinics out somwhere more out of the way though, no purpose served by having them smack bang in the middle of the CBD.

    1. Andrew

      I’ve bad news for you then Rob. The first injection centre will be operated in Merchant’s Quay.
      I think when you don’t live in the city and visit it does come as a bit of a shock. When you live here, you become accustomed to it and don’t notice it as much. However you do know what areas/people to avoid.
      There are definitely more beggars and drug addicts on the streets than there was.
      However it has always been rough enough in Dublin, it’s not Switzerland and Gareth definitely has the rose tinted glasses on.
      I believe he has a terminal illness which must be awful.

      1. George

        There aren’t that many heroin addicts really. You haven’t travelled that extensively if you’ve never seen a place with more. The talk of putting the drug treatment clinics out of the way somewhere is nonsense. They need to be where the drug problem is and it affects working class inner city communities more than most.

        1. Andrew

          Where did I say I’ve never seen a place with more? You seem to a very ‘chippy’ individual. Wind your neck in a bit George. Everything doesn’t have to be an argument.

        2. Rob_G

          Lived in a few countries at this stage, in Europe and in the U.S., and travelled to many more, for work & for pleasure, and I have never, ever seen a city centre with more heroin addicts.

          I think it’s sad that people destroy their lives with drugs, and these people deserve understanding and support, but these facilities should be away off in an industrial estate somewhere, away from schools, and away from places where small business owners and their staff have to deal with these people hassling and intimidating their clients.

          1. Dub Spot

            I’ve traveled and lived. Try Berlin, Utrecht, Paris, San Francisco for heroin addicts… Dublin is no worse.

            CBD? Been to Melbourne have we?

        3. Mart

          I’d be interested where you’ve been that you’ve seen more? I’ve traveled loads and mainly to big cities, can’t think of anywhere that I’ve seen close to the amount of addicts Dublin has. And definitely nowhere where they are so brazen. I know exactly where all the dealing goes on, exactly here on this corner:


          It goes on all day every day at this exact spot. If I know this, how do the guards not know? Or do they know but they ignore it?

          1. Andrew

            Of course they know. They choose to ignore it. It’s not worth their while.
            There are a lot of of Gardaí involved in higher level policing and are getting results. However, at street level there are Gardaí that go missing and are not doing their job and it’s nothing to do with resourcing. Many just can’t be bottomed and are time servers.

          2. Cian

            This is a bigger problem than just the Gardaí. If they do arrest the person, and charge them, and bring them to the ‘joy for remand, and then they attend court, and then the dealer (invariably) walks free. A complete waste of resources.

      1. McVitty

        that was the acronym I learned in school in 1996. We should be a bit less presumptuous and judgmental.

    2. Rob

      There is a methadone clinic off the Belgard Road in Tallaght. You can see the service users shuffling from the LUAS to the Burger King waiting for their appointment.

  3. Holden MaGroin

    Maybe he got bad news at the medical tests and he’s worried and it put him in bad form. Then he saw a junkie and thought “OMG so morto for us when the tourists see the junkies.” And then he saw the youthful Garda with their dewy skin and comfortable looking shoes and maybe all these things combined to put him on a bit of a Debbie downer.
    *Sings Cheer up Charlie*

  4. Dan

    How many of these gangs did Gareth met on his stroll?
    Sad article, Dublin is a great city, could do with solving the junkie problem but FG dont help those who need help.

  5. Alastair

    It’s guff.
    It’s probably less of a kip than it was twenty years ago, which is not to say it isn’t still a kip in many respects. The kippiness is part of the charm of the place – always was. It’s definitely not ‘controlled by gangs’, and if anything, it’s less intimidating to walk around at night than it once was. If you’re whinging about being stung for mortgage prices on pints in certain pubs, that’s a pretty clear indicator you don’t know your arse from your elbow with regard to what’s what in the city centre.

    Having said that – the closing of the Sackville Lounge has made the city centre a poorer place.

  6. Timbo

    The ’80’s were fupping great! Thre were no drugs, unemployment, but there was loads of nightclubs, gigs, late night buses to get home, cheap and abundent taxis! And drinkg through the holy hour was tragic…I mean magic!

    1. Cian

      Ah now. Do you remember the “curry” that used to be served at midnight to tick the “food is being served” box so they could stay serving alcohol ‘late’.

      …and the niteclubs on Leeson street selling £30 bottles of plonk.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        I used to always eat that curry. ALWAYS, and I’m still here.
        I’ve developed a third nipple but that’s by the by.

        1. The Old Boy

          My local Sainsbury’s sells that powdered “curry” between the Club Orange and Barry’s tea on its Irish goods shelf. It’s obviously had a profound, lasting and far-reaching effect on many of us.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            My Dad found a recipe in an old army cookbook for Indian curry. He used to use that mix but would then serve it up with flaked coconut, yoghurt and dried fruit on the side. YUM. He also used to serve up fried eggs, beans and spuds all mashed up together, a relic of his boarding school days. That was, and possibly still remains, my favourite dinner.

      2. kellMA

        Ah yes the bottle of plonk for 30quid that you could get in the shops for 5. Waking up the next morning and seeing the credit card receipts for same after you got into the usual “richard branson mode” with a few drinks on board.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          One night, myself and my friend found a half-finished bottle of champagne in Legg’s. We, obviously, finished it. Then the couple came back (not sure why they’d gone away, it’s not as if you had to step outside for a fag) and we had to pay £70 for a replacement bottle. We insisted on drinking half of it to get our money’s worth, but that was a very expensive night out. And I didn’t even score. FMAL.

      1. Royal M

        It’s definitely less of a kip than it was 20 years ago, and far safer. I’d take a gang of hoodied smartphone zombies over a gang of glue-sniffing skinheads and bootboys any day.

        1. Pip

          Spot on, Royal M.
          Applies to 30 and 40 years ago too, minus the glue.
          Place looked like there’d been a war and nobody told us.
          Literally hopeless.

  7. Dan

    By the way, Copenhagen has no high rise accomodation and no housing crisis. To all those build high advocates I ask: How come?

      1. Dan

        You are the boo boo head Rob. The high rise are not in the city centre, also I see 6 high blocks in your clip, just like Ballymun or Sandyford.
        Try harder.

        1. Rob_G

          I could literally post photo after photo of high rise apartment buildings in Copenhagan, but I don’t want to trigger BS’s spam filter.

          “The high rise are not in the city centre… “

          A bit early in the morning to tire yourself carrying goalposts around, no? ;)

  8. pedeyw

    “It wasn’t how I knew it to be years ago, as I walked back to where we were staying” this particular quote sums it up. Cities change, there isn’t a generation who hasn’t had this thought. That’s not to see there aren’t serious problems in Dublin right now including homelessness, drug addiction and gangs, but an incurable kip? no.

  9. bisted

    …I’ve just calculated that I’ve lived and worked in Dublin longer than I’ve spent in all other places combined…now I’m back in the home near the border and I miss Dublin desperately…although I visit often there is a completely different experience when you live in a place…

    1. optimus_slime

      I’m with you there, bisted. I spent most of my life in Dublin but moved away 10 years ago and I miss it something dreadful. I can still drive up there for a day trip but, as you say, its completely different to living in the place. Now that the city is booming again, I feel the buzz when I’m there and feel like a great party is going on that I’m missing out on.

  10. Joe Small

    We moved offices from Dublin 1 to Dublin 8 recently. In Dublin 1 we saw frequent fights among drug addicts during the day in our area despite being near Store Street Garda Station. In Dublin 8, we see near-daily open drug-taking (injecting or cooking-up) and a local population that seems to feature a lot of current or former drug addicts – all this as tourists meander through the area up to the Guinness Storehouse.
    Up until a few years ago I worked and lived mostly on the southside so I can’t say if these areas are getting better or worse but they are certainly not nice areas to walk around.

    1. Rob_G

      You’re not wrong, but those are the two worst areas of Dublin. I don’t know why we prioritise having people who don’t have jobs to live within 10 minutes walk of Grafton Street, but there you are…

      1. scottser

        i am intrigued as to how your system of habitation based solely on income and employment status could work. please expand?

        1. Jonickal

          So if we are building social housing you think it’s ok to build it nearest as possible to the most expensive real estate in the country. How is this clever?

          1. scottser

            so you’re suggesting that people from certain areas shouldn’t be allowed to live in those areas where they work, grew up, still have connections through family and friends, etc? you don’t build communities on the basis of real estate prices lad.
            or maybe you think people should be considered to be units of production, then classified according to income potential and allocated a place to live accordingly?

          2. Rob_G

            Of course they should be ‘allowed’ live there, they should just have to pay for it is all, same as anyone else who wants to live there.

            Loads of people (people who work) have to move away from the areas they grew up in to get a job or study; it’s all part of making one’s own way in the world. No-one should should have a special entitlement to live in a particular area; they should have exactly the same entitlement as anyone else who wants to live there.

        2. Rob_G

          There are people that work hard, pay their taxes, have mortgages and creche bills, who have to commute into their offices in the city centre from outer suburbs & the surrounding counties. There are also people who don’t work, and have no intention of working, living (for free in many cases) in flats and houses a few minutes stroll away from these same offices.

          This is unfair, and is not how it should be.

          1. Andrew

            Couldn’t agree more Rob. A lot of the inhabitants of city centre social housing are responsible for an inordinate amount of crime in the city. Generational welfare dependence and learned helplessness. Opportunity has knocked for these people and they’ve ignored it. They are kept in welfare dependence, by those who advocate for them.

          2. scottser

            see what you’ve done rob? you’ve let andrew out of his box and now we have to listen to ‘everyone in social housing is a criminal and freeloader’.

    2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Ah yeah. I used to work on Ormond Quay back in the late 90s. It was horrendous. If you worked after 5, they’d pay for a taxi home for you in winter. I remember having to step over puddles of puke every goddamn morning on the way to work.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Having said that, I lived in Dublin 8 for years and years and loved it and never had one issue. I’m a tremendously beautiful person, though, and people react well to that, I think.

        1. Pip

          Dublin 8 is seriously on the up.
          Full of building sites, not to mention the wonderful Weavers Park on Cork St.
          Decades of neglect no more.

      2. The Old Boy

        I stepped over many a human stool on Chancery Place and Inns Quay of a dark winter’s morning. The Chancery Inn was always a bulk supplier of early street-vomiting.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          skipping lightly over a still-steaming streams of wee is one of the pleasures of dublin living

          in my opinion

  11. Col

    I’d be interested to know where he walked. O’Connell Street and Parnell Street, for instance, are nowhere near as nice as they should be.
    But the Camden Street – George’s Street area still has a nice vibe and feels safe enough (certainly not “controlled by gangs”).

  12. dhod

    I love dublin, I love it so much I sold my suburban 4 bed with its large front and back garden and bought a gardenless city shoebox instead. I love living in my shoebox. That said, Dublin is flawed. it’s surprising how quickly the intimidation wears off when you’re constantly hassled by drug addicts.

  13. TheBag

    ‘Controlled by gangs’. Jaysus, clutch those pearls a bit tighter there pal. There is a difference between feeling intimidated and actually being intimidated, I would be very surprised if he had any interactions at all with these roaming gangs and wild eyed junkies on his trip through town. Dublin’s fine, a little rough around the edges in places but far safer and more pleasant than many, many cities I’ve been to.

  14. $hifty

    If all you see is scumbags and junkies you need to start visiting somewhere other than the streets between Connolly and Heuston.

    Dublin has a lot going for it that other places in the country just don’t have, or at least don’t have all of them:

    Access to Cinemas, theatres, concerts, sporting events, top restaurants, public transport (quiet down the back!), international airport, infrastructure to reach the rest of the country, public parks and festivals, a ski slope, theme parks, swimming pools, shopping centres, late night shops & cafes & bars & nightclubs, international tourists, museums, supermarkets, IKEA, fishing, kayaking, rowing, diving, the Zoo, the Phoenix park, food festivals, horse racing, greyhounds, cathedrals, mountains, hiking, casinos, sailing, golf courses etc.

    Of all those, the ski slope in Kilmacanogue is the furthest distance away from, say, Dublin 5 and that’s only 45 mins by car. How many of those do you have relatively easy access to in, say, Douglas?

    That’s before you get into the one-off / emergency places you might need visit like the NCT centres, hospitals, embassies or government departments, passport office etc.

    Dublin is considered a kip by a very low minority and is vastly underrated by a majority of people, most of whom are familiar around a small part and never experience most of the above. Others see junkies on the boardwalk when they get off at Busáras or Heuston and dismiss the rest of the city.

    There’s an anti-social issue with the junkies, but ask yourself…….other than looking bad, do they bother anyone really? It’s not the gearbags who are out fleecing tourists or marauding in gangs around balbriggan

  15. Clampers Outside!

    I miss the buzz of Dublin city centre having lived in it for 20+ years. 3 or 4 minute walk to Heuston / Phoenix Park, Luas running past the front door, not one but two! DublinBike stands less than a minute away, and just a 5 minute walk to Vicar Street, or just under 10 to Dame Street……

    What I Really, really, really miss is being able to go to a gig – Whelan’s, Academy, Vicar, Olympia – on a school night, often for a lot less than €20, and being able to walk home by 11 or even earlier…. Waterford is very very very quiet by comparison, and the gig selection not so good. I’m as close to town here as I was in Dublin, but the choice is limited, and the “buzz” of the city is barely audible Sunday to Thursday… it’s there but only in pockets. Dublin has plenty good to offer, in my view.

    Did I think Dublin rough? Not as bad as when I first moved there in the early 90s. It definitely improved in the 20+ years, but I do agree that the drug problem needs a solution. I never really spent much time ‘going out’ in O’Connell Street, but it could do with a lift, I believe. But it’s not a kip… to my mind.

    Again, I still miss her, Dublin, my patch in Dublin 8, all the same. She’s not a kip, just rough on the edges, and I’d expect as much from a Capital City… faults an’ all.

    1. Dr.Fart MD

      off topic, but was it you who recomended Black Summer to me? coz i watched the first 4 episodes of it last night and i love it. jesus it can get tense. its so good. it doesnt let up for a second. youre kept goin the whole time. really good.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        I just checked: it’s on Netflix. Great. I need a new show to binge on.
        Oh. There’s only one season of 8 episodes. Pfffffffffffffffffffffft.

      2. Clampers Outside!

        Aye, that was myself
        ! Loved the sense of the characters not knowing who is a good guy or not or who’ll flip out on another in an every-man-for-himself fashion…. I got a top notch unsettling feeling in that regard, adding great tension. Enjoy the rest of it!

  16. George

    “controlled by gangs” “a few nice pubs”. Such rubbish. How many pubs does a city need?

  17. Dr.Fart MD

    i’m not bothered by the junkies at all. they can’t do anything to ya. they’ve no energy to chase ya or hassle ya properly. its the teens who do all the damage. anything bad that happens, muggings, beatings etc., it’s always all the teens. kill all teens and dublin will be great. make dublin great again. we’re guna build a wall, and make the teens pay for it.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      I agree with the kind doctor, although i wouldn’t necessarily like to see all teenagers killed. there surely must be some way to permanently incapacitate them.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          who gather en masse with the same-coloured backpacks, usually bright yellow or blue? yes, it does

      1. Dr.Fart MD

        nah man kill all teens. then the kids who will be crime loving teens in the future, will see this, and kop themselves on.

    2. Rob_G

      I’ve had a junkie put their blood-encrusted hand on my shoulder to ask me for a euro on Thomas St – very unpleasant, quite intimidating.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        I’ve had a junkie spit in my face around the Golden Lane area- an experience I cannot forget. Another swung a punch at me (missing) and another bellowed loud abuse at me on North Earl Street for not giving him a cigarette. There was one afternoon in town that I brushed with four of them. When I sat in Wolftone Square that same afternoon with my lunch, the fifth one starting zombie-walking towards me, no doubt looking for change for a hostel that doesn’t even charge. Having enough of it, I stood up and told him to fupp off and leave me alone. The nasal response of “that’s not very nice” was spot on Adam and Paul. He was only coming over to say hello it seems. We live in that Adam and Paul movie every day in Dublin. They are masters of swinging the innocent do-gooder into their daily begging routine.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I remember seeing an aul fella scoop poo out of his trousers and throw it at a wall one morning (D8). I’m gagging thinking about it. I remember thinking I was hallucinating but the proof was there on the wall when I got home after work.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            reminds me of an awfully unfortunate one-night stand i once had after drinking a massive amount of red wine, which often doesn’t agree with me. i met her again by chance a few years later at a party – denied outright that it was me, of course.

    3. Junkface

      Dublin needs to build several large military schools, throw the problem teens in there for a few years. They have never been disciplined, that’s the problem. When I was a teen any trouble I got into was swiftly dealt with by my strict Dad. I feared his reaction more than anything. At the time I thought he was a tyrant, but looking back now he was just very responsible. Teens need Fathers.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            Sounds like you’re going to be a Captain Von Trapp Dad. All whistles and marching.

  18. Anomanomanom

    Dublin city is without doubt a complete kip. Every where has problems but Dublin city is the worst I’ve seen. It seems to be policy of the garda/government to just let the proles living in the heart of the city deal with the problems them selves. On numerous occasions I’ve seen garda walk past people openly dealing drugs. One particular bookies in the liberties is notorious for it. Or when I had a bike stolen and the garda in Kevin Street actually said “Ah can you not deal with this yourself”. The many problems in the city are because the people in power don’t give a shit.

    1. Junkface

      Dublin city in the rough areas, has a problem with marauding teen gangs. Mostly they vandalize, steal or intimidate other kids or adults, but having lived close to these spots in Dublin 8 for 10 years it seems to me that we have generations of alcoholics letting the streets bring up their kids, most of the time the father is missing, or else permanently stuck in the pub next to the bookies, a loop he can’t seem to break. The kids have never been disciplined as far as I could see. I regularly had property vandalized or attempted at theft, the Gards would just tell me that even though they had it on security camera, the culprits were under 16 so nothing could be done. This one time the Gard told me that last time they brought this teenage fella home to his flat after being caught, the mother attacked the guard, threw tea cups at him! Crazy, but social services have their work cut out for them. Alcoholism is a major factor to unsafe streets. Deal with that and the absent father culture.

  19. Junkface

    Dublin’s always been a mix of old charm and dangerous spots to me. There are for sure some very large kips in Dublin, but there are also so many nice areas, especially along the eastern coastline. That’s where most of the charms are for me. Heading to west Dublin is something I never really did as I grew up on the east side. The west seems to have endless poorly planned corporation estates and dangerous spots, but a few nice villages here and there. The drug addict problem is definitely one of the worst I’ve ever seen in Europe, actually it is the worst. I think because the problem is concentrated along the Liffey and the quays. I left Ireland a couple of years ago, so I miss Dublin, it is unbelievable craic on a night out with friends.

    I’m not nostalgic for the way it was 20 years ago, as I think the odds of a random violent attack were higher back then, much higher. So many of my friends all experienced the same random violence on a night out. Horrible and frightening, especially for girls I knew.
    Dublin needs to overhaul its approach to tackling Heroin addiction, whatever they have been doing does not work. They need to try something much more bold. My main gripe with Dublin is everything being ridiculously overpriced in many ways, and I can never pay rent to an Irish Landlord again on principal.

  20. postmanpat

    The same broadcaster (radio DJ ffs) Gareth O’Callaghan with the stupid jingle? Gar–eth –O’–Cal -la—han, ..”…controlled by gangs.” Ha. Yeah , its like the Warriors out there . Can you dig it?

  21. millie st murderlark

    When I worked in Dublin 8, my first few weeks there were fairly nerve wracking.

    But then I got to know the area and the people, and I grew to love it. It’s not without it’s problems but I’ve an awful soft spot for the liberties market and the aul ones and their wheelie shopping trolleys, even the (poor) horses and the ever present smell of poopy and straw.

    1. Anomanomanom

      I was born in the coombe, I’ve lived in Dublin 8 all my life. Everyone who lives here knows exactly where the problems are yet nothings done about it. And a particular flat complex is the cause of most of the problems on thomas street. If the people living here can see who/what/where the problems are surely the garda know. They just don’t give a poopy.

      1. Junkface

        Sounds like Marrowbone Lane flats to me, although there are more to choose from nearby, but that one stood out to me.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I used to do yoga in the local centre there. I’m a mucker so had no idea when I was in dodgier parts when I lived around there.

        2. Andrew

          Marrowbone or more likely Oliver Bond flats. I’ve had cause to go in an out of both a few times over recent years.

          1. Anomanomanom

            Its Oliver bond, I’ve been witness on many occasions to the scum from those flats robbing the spar and racially abusing the lads working in there. Robbing bikes locked out side lidl, the worst one I witnessed was a group of hard lads pushing a 87year old man, got his age afterwards, to the ground and while is wife tried to help the lit a rocket and threw it in her bag. I luckily enough actually ran over in time to grab her bag. Its unfortunate but its minority of good people in those flats, the majority are scum.

  22. scottser

    i was in glasgow there a few weekends ago. it’s what dublin used to be like 15 or 20 years ago – loads of music, poetry, decent heads, late bars, museums, galleries, decent food, cheap hotels etc. dublin is definitely a city coming down from its trip.

  23. Charlie

    Garett is quite correct. I travel quite a bit around Europe and every time I set my foot back on Dublin soil I smell scrotes and agro.

  24. class wario

    lol ‘controlled by gangs’

    Dublin still has a lot to offer and has a lot of genuinely nice places to go and see. I think the main issue for me anyway is how dreadful the O’Connell St area gets after about 5pm on a daily basis.

  25. Bort

    Dublin is a kip! That’s a good one. Give London a try, you’ve equal chance of getting acid sprayed in your face as you do getting a glass stuck in your face.

    The only time Dublin is dangerous is when you find yourself the only person an any given street. You don’t want to be standing around on O’Connell St, even Grafton St at the extreme wee hours of the morning.

    1. The Old Boy

      Boo boos. There is a lot less aggro in London. I’ve had more hassle – nothing serious, but irritating – in a week in Dublin than I’d get in a year in London. It’s not as though I’m just pootling between Mayfair and the Temple, either. The majority of London violence seems to be black youth on black youth in suburban areas.

      1. Bort

        I’ve spent a lot of time in London and I’ve found the London “lads” far more aggressive and far more likely turn violent for very little. We’re also lucky not to have moped gangs bombing around the city centre. The theory that knife crime is mostly gang related is a total misnomer. I would walk into ANY pub in Dublin, I wouldn’t think twice. I certainly can’t say the same for London. You’d be hard pressed finding a city safer than Dublin. We’re not plagued by the level of pick pocketing cities on the mainland suffer from. See how long your phone lasts in your back pocket in Madrid or Barcelona.

  26. Niamh

    I adore Dublin and have lived between D1 and D7 for the better part of a decade. In that time I have definitely watched open drug use (cooking, selling, injection, passing out), homelessness, begging, and intimidation in the streets rise enormously, year by year. It saddens me to say this and I do not have a right-wing agenda, but it really wears out the morale of a place to have so many people off their face on benzos and/or riding scrambler bikes (hinterlands of D15 dire for this) on pavements. This is not to say there aren’t serious legacy socio-political reasons behind this but, in the end, on an individual level, I don’t feel enough middle-class guilt to imagine I deserve a scrambler bike to the sternum on my walk home from work.

    We probably need to decriminalize drug use, manage rehab better, and break up inner city gangs (yes a serious portion of it is controlled by gangs: a family member works in this area and Sherriff Street to docklands are Hutch/Kinahan territory; this is not prejudicial to say, it’s a sad fact that is daily fupping up the prospects of all the kids growing up there).

    In the meantime I wouldn’t dream of bringing up kids here. Southside or suburbs.

    1. Qwerty123

      Agreed, I think when the courts made begging legal (freedom of expression challenge in 2007) then the hassling got a lot worse.

  27. BS

    Dublin is a kip…the city centre is anyway. Even the IFSC isnt imune to the addicts fighting and shouting and generally falling about the place as people try to get on with their day.

    I worked off sheriff street for a few months and have seen tourists harrassed at a very badly placed airport bus stop behind connolly station, or walking down sherrif street, bags in tow, phones in hand, blissfully unaware they are in one of the worst parts of dublin for crime and violence.

    I wouldnt walk around town late at night. I wouldnt even walk around some parts during the day with a laptop bag or phone in my hand.

    The only real solution to this is more Gardai, and a coherant drug treatment strategy…..both of which we all know, wont happen

    1. BS

      Yeah it is a strange mix of well off/very well off people trying to get some lunch, or go between offices to earn a living and drug addicts, or life long dole/disability pay people just not giving a crap about anyone or anything as long as they get what they want.

      I’ve parked my car in the car park in the IFSC and picked it up at 9/10pm and it is indeed a weird place after dark…but its not much better during the day

    2. missred

      I dread seeing people dragging their bags through there praying they won’t be robbed. The houses in the middle of Sheriff st are an awful haven for dealing and fights. The people who live there are fine, just the sorts who gather and hang around for the day are dodgy. I would never walk around with a phone or even a smoke in my hand walking through. Gards are occasionally parked there but it makes little difference.

      1. BS

        The gards were parked there every day for a couple of months after a 20 person fight broke out last summer…there’s a hutch/kinnehan associate that lives in one of the houses and there were at least 3 weekly armed checkpoints around the area. total waste of recources.

        And theyve sold the connolly station car park to a developer so there will be more nice offices built in the next couple of years, slap bang in the middle of one of the worst kips in Dublin.

        1. missred

          Oh was that why, I thought it was just watching the general area, silly naive me. I assume the fella who got shot in the backside near the takeaway had something to do with that. Seeing the armed unit was pretty intimidating I have to say.
          There was a set of steps on the back of a business just after you go under the railway bridge next to the bus stops which had to be blocked off with 10ft high railing because so many addicts were leaving all manner of rubbish. It was disgusting to see at the time.

  28. kellMA

    I have lived in Dublin for most of my life. I was born here and moved to the midlands for my formative years and back ever since. I have lived in D1, D6 and now live in Balbriggan (so the schticks really).
    I have never really felt that afraid apart from once incident on Dorset Street. Our neighbours apartment in Rathmines was burgled (i saw him climbing out the window with a laptop box that hilariously was filled with a few books as it transpired) and then I once had a bit of a panic experience when a drunk looney ran out in front of my rental car (relevant detail because I didnt know where the central locking button was) on dorset street and then tried to get in the door at me. I work in D1 t so it couldnt get any “rawer”. Yes, lots of addicts but they tend to stick to themselves if you carry on with your business. I love Dublin

  29. Captainpants

    I can imagine my Latin American friends weeing themselves laughing when they hear Dubliners describe their city as ‘dangerous’. Dublin is still one of the safest cities in the world.

    The biggest problem with the place is that the exorbitant cost of rents is pricing out the things that I like about a city: Cheap second hand bookshops, little cafes, beer shacks and the like. As well as this, for things like electronics or whatever, Dublin shops have given up even trying to compete with online retailers – so apart from clothes I would never buy any big ticket items in Dublin cause they would often be 60% of the price online. (Yes Im a hypocrite)

    I remember being in Prague a year ago and accidentally stumbling into a bar themed around vintage horror movies, pitch dark with models of leatherface and freddy kruger and blood-based cocktails and so on. I remember thinking that Dublin couldnt have a bar like that because the crazy rents means you have to make something with mass appeal like a sports bar or you’re bust.

    1. Rob_G

      There’s still a fair few 2nd hand bookshops, and I don’t think I have ever come across a ‘beer shack’ in the city.

      Smithfield has a rockabilly bar & a video game bar, so these places do exist (not in Temple Bar, for sure, but they are out there).

    2. Termagant

      Rent is one thing, rates is another
      There’s limited scope for the state to say “Here all you private property owners, charge less rent you muckbags”. Telling private citizens what they can do with their own property is very dangerous for any government.
      Sky-high rates on the other hand are charged by local authorities, if there was a will the state could very easily apply some pressure and get them pushed down to give small businesses a better chance in the inner city.
      But there isn’t a will, because the more small businesses go to the wall the more vacant properties there are for foreign investors to snap up.

  30. class wario

    talbot street has definitely gotten worse the past few years and it was hardly a shining beacon in the city to begin with

  31. TMan

    I have always wondered if the bad press Dublin gets from the rest of the country down to the location of Croke Park. Most people from outside Dublin take their annual trip up to see there club/county team (if there lucky) and invariably get either the train to Heuston or Connelly. They then take that walk up to Croker via the less salubrious areas of Dublin and after the match they follow the same route back never deviating, so their only experience is these areas.
    I grew up in what are now deemed leafy south side suburbs, but back in the 80’s most homes had one working parent where a teachers wage could easily by you a 3 / 4 bedroom semi D very much not the case now. I moved further into the city due to cost of houses in said suburb. I have three kids in a small 3 bedroom ex council house (I can see the grand canal from my living room window) and I love it. There is a great sense of community and the convenience of living close to everything is amazing. As a family we are never stuck for something to do in fact the choices are endless. My wife is from the west of Ireland and of the two of us she would be a lot more against moving west then me, she knows a lot more people and has a way better social life then I do.
    Its defiantly not without its problems but the majority of capital cities the world over have pretty much the same problems, drugs, crime and overpriced housing. If people didn’t want to live in them why are all the houses so bloody expensive?

    1. Qwerty123

      ‘why are all the houses so bloody expensive’ New to the site, eh? Answer is blueshirts

  32. Pip

    Can anyone offer an explanation for the lack of vandalism to Dublin Bikes?
    If this isn’t an indicator of better times, what is?

  33. Rapscallion

    Dublin has always been a bit of a kip, part scary, part dangerous but for all that she’s a beautiful dirty oul’ town, perfectly reflecting the half dark half light soul of the poets to whom it gave birth or succour or booze or a combination of all. I feel as scared walking at night from the 4 courts to Christchurch as I would from beggars bush to pepper canister church. So I tend to make a point of avoiding syringe wielding junkies and antagonistic pimps. Cities are as dangerous as you let them be. Open mindedness and street smarts are all you need to look beneath the grime and see the lady shine.

  34. Qwerty123

    Dublin is a collection of very different and diverse villages, to label all Dublin a kip based on a ramble around the city centre area is myopic at best.

  35. Spaghetti Hoop

    Broadsheeters I salute you – this has been really interesting reading your responses. I think life is too short to stay in a place you hate, but it seems most here view the city as a bit of a rough diamond. One complaint prevails – the addicts. If we were to lobby the City Council about this problem it looks like nimbyism. The only hope is more Guards on the beat. Wonder if Gareth O’Callaghan has any bright ideas on a solution to this. Thanks all.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      nice one, hoop

      [one thing i’d say to that, though – and i’m going to duck down as soon as i say it (!) – is that, while there are a lot of ar $eholes knocking around dublin who deserve a good slap, addicts by and large must be regarded and treated as victims. anyone who works with addicts will tell you that they’re invariably self-medicating – remember: heroin is first and foremost a painkiller – to cope with the effects of abuse (often sexual) as children, teens etc. it’s something that society needs to take responsibility for]

      1. Rob_G

        I agree that addicts should be treated with compassion and understanding. But at the same time, people going to work and going about their daily business should not have to put up with addicts’ often intimidating (sometimes downright threatening) behaviour. I think that the current setup of having addiction services/ Salvation army hostels in places with a lot of footfall increases the number of (unpleasant) interactions between “ordinary” people, and people with addiction problems (and the multitude of challenging behaviours that go with it).

    2. Junkface

      +1 Spaghetti Hoop
      Very interesting thread. Regarding drug addicts, we need to learn from countries that solved or at least had more effective solutions to the problem. Sharing good ideas helps us all.

  36. Termagant

    I don’t think it’s rougher, for all the different grains of rough there are, but I do feel like the good things about the city which used to make the roughness worth it are being eroded away by the usual suspects: corporatism, greed and the dwindling capability of the average person to give a wahooney about other people. It’s not alone in this respect.

  37. Mike

    Our capital city is being gentrified through rising rents/rates and mass buying up of property resulting in a “brain drain” and exodus of the middle class, leaving the super rich and super poor, same is happening to london, Berlin etc

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link